Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes says that he and fellow Portugal international Ruben Dias are changing the perception of the country’s top division.
Portugal have produced some fine players over the years, not least Cristiano Ronaldo. However, there are now a host of Premier League players starring from the nation; Fernandes has arguably proved United‘s best signing since Scotsman Sir Alex Ferguson left Old Trafford in 2013.
Meanwhile, City made Dias a club-record acquisition last summer, but he led his side magnificently to the Premier League title.
As for former Sporting man Fernandes, critics used the lesser reputation of the Portuguese top flight to question whether he would be able to step up to the English top flight.
Now that he has done so, though, the 26-year-old has revealed his pride at proving his doubters wrong.
“The perception has changed a little, which can be good, because the championship could aim for more significant sales in the future,” he told Expresso magazine (via Sport Witness).
“After all, buying players from the Portuguese league might not be that bad.
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“In the past they looked, perhaps, with some suspicion. They said: they come from a weaker league, less intense, with less quality, they will need time.
“Both Ruben Dias and I helped to change that idea a little. The quality and intensity depend on the player himself.”
Fernandes netted 28 goals in all competitions last season, breaking Frank Lampard’s record for a Premier League player.
Both the midfielder and Dias have rightly earned their places in Portugal’s Euro 2020 squad. They one of the favourites to go deep into the competition.
Nevertheless, they must first navigate a tricky Group containing World Cup holders France and 2014 winners Germany.
Fernandes reveals Ronaldo inspiration
Juventus’ Ronaldo is the iconic name in Portuguese football; he has won a host of major honours, including the 2016 European Championships.
As a result, Fernandes recently revealed he has taken inspiration from his fellow countryman.
What’s more, the midfielder cited Ronaldo’s Euro 2004 displays.